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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Trick coin trickery » » Why use a gimmick when you can use none? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Samuel Catoe
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If the gimmick gives a more magical result in what the audience perceives, then I say use the gimmick. Don't cheat yourself, but don't cheat the audience either.
Author of Illusions of Influence, a treatise on Equivoque.
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jbk2006
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Simply stated...."It's not how it is done, but how it looks"
KurtK
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Alright cool. Haha now I'm actually considering buying a gaff for scotch and soda. Yeah I agree it is the achieved effect not how its done. The audience is none the wiser.
enginemagic
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Quote:
On 2008-03-23 19:06, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Quote:
On 2008-03-23 16:36, KurtK wrote:
Why would you buy a gimmick for Scotch and Soda when you can learn quite a few sleights and gain talent while getting the same or near the same effect using no gimmicks?



First, the gimmicks are sold to a market which wants easy tricks

From there - until about thirty years ago the idea of using sleights except where a gaff permits a result one could not reliably get without recourse to the gaff was considered "way too much fuss" by most in this community.

Today - thanks to pioneers like David Roth and others who followed that way of thinking has by and large changed - and we have folks like Armando Lucero and Giacomo Bertini to watch. You can also see this use of gaffs in Steve Dusheck's tricks like his Slippery Sam Combination Coin set and earlier Ultimate Copper Silver Transpo.

You can pretty much see the way of thinking change as you read Harry Lorayne's Apocalypse magazine volumes as tricks which may use a gaff but in more subtle ways made their way into print - like Curtis Kam's Inferrential C - S transpo.
that's true many people want things the easy way these days. you see it in all places so magic isn't amuned to this .For some of it is lazyness,and quickie things are for those that have no time.For many I know its fear of chemicals,hard physical work.We all do the best we can with what we have.
Practicing without gaffed items take great concentration,and hand skills.The coin moves I learned has made my mechanics job much easier especially when in tight places on a car,or mower frame.
The big plus on using non gaffed items is that the coin,card,or other item you use in the trick can be examined by the audience wich makes the trick more convincing.
theres a lot to learn out there,many interesting subjects,and hobbies to enjoy
Habu
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This is a question which reaches beyond a question about coins and applies to the whole field.

Where would magic be without gaffs? If you consider an extra ball in cups n balls as a gaff, or the magical qualities of the chop cup, then gaffs have been with us from the beginning. Johnathan mentioned juggeling--that was an excellent point.

I know this debate rages with the "self-working" tricks vs slight of hand topics.

An excellent example of this debate is the use of gimmicked ropes. There are effects which can be done both with and without gimmicks, but typically, or at least occassionally,the extra moves may be hard to justify. I do use gimmicked coins but prefer not to use gimmicked ropes.

Parlor magic is an excellent example of a gaff being the means, but presentation being the "magic".

by the way, I do have scotch and soda and use it with a H/H to create an excellent little routine.
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Real name: Rick Jackson
Habu: Taken from SR-71 spy plane I worked on. It's name came from a poisonous snake on Okinawa. Hope my magic isn't poisonous!
Jonathan Townsend
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Habu, our earliest text in English, Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft describes the use of gaffs - and even Hofzinser used gaffed coins - so seems strange to consider a hypothetical about early magicians being too stupid to do what's necessary to get good tricks working.

The question usually comes down to the look/work/fuss of performing a routine - does it look magical? does it work reliably? how much extra fuss is it to use "other" methods?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Habu
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Johnathan, I think we are in agreement about gaffs being around a long time, and their positive uses, as well as thier use by famous magicans throughout history.

But I am not sure what you meant by:

Quote:
so seems strange to consider a hypothetical about early magicians being too stupid to do what's necessary to get good tricks working.


I may just not be understanding what you wrote.
www.magicbyhabu.com
Real name: Rick Jackson
Habu: Taken from SR-71 spy plane I worked on. It's name came from a poisonous snake on Okinawa. Hope my magic isn't poisonous!
sinergy22
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Let me tell you guys a story, back to my freshman year of high school...

I was a new kid to the school, and hadn't had the chance to get to know very many people. I was a young magician who had just recently started to get serious with the art. I really wanted to start showing people some magic, but in a semi-hostile environment like a highschool Caféteria, I was unsure of how others would react and treat me. I decided to pull out the good ol' scotch and soda. I walked over to the "senior table," and asked them if they wanted to see some magic. Some of them gave me some pretty funny looks, but a few seemed pretty interested. I started out with a great self working poker-related card trick (the name escapes me right now), and got everyone really into the performance. Finally, I whipped out the Scotch and Soda, and it KILLED. From then on, I did 30 minute long performances in the Caféteria daily for the senior class. They all loved it! I even bent the corners of my Scotch and Soda inwards a bit, so I could hand it out for examination afterwards with no switches. Was it an easy trick that anyone could have done? Yes. Was it me who put the time and practice into the performance and practiced the spectator control to do the trick in their hands, even having them close their own hand? Yes. So ultimately, using the gaff allowed me to work on my performance skills earlier in my serious performing career. Remember, a layperson does not know the difference between sleight of hand tricks, self working tricks, and gaffed tricks! To them, magic is magic, and it's the end result that they will tell their friends about later. Am I calling for everyone to switch over to all gaffed material? Of course not! It is great to intermingle the different types of magic to allow you to work on your performance alone, and to give you some time to relax and breathe during your performance.
Adam Milestone
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My best advice is to see what method is best for your own preferences. Also, having alternate methods is always a good thing to have in your arsonal as it can allow you to repeat certain effects while the heat is on the 2nd time around. Personally I don't descriminate against a method using a gaff just because it uses one, but rather enjoy the melding of sleights and gaffs together to that create effects impossible by any other means. I've never really understood the utter dislike of gaffs by some magi especially when it is of no consequence to your specs; as has been mentioned it's all just magic to them or at least it should be! Albert Einstein once said: "make things as simple as possible, but not simpler" and this quote has been mentioned by at least a few pro magi when speaking of the performance of magic; Quite sound advice I think.
Jonathan Townsend
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Habu, folks have been using copper/silver gaffs with shells since at least Reginald Scot's time back in the 1500s and likely way before that back to Ancient Rome. Really - in his book he describes a trick where you show a silver coin on both sides, put it into someone's hand and it changes to copper - using a c/s with ] - back in 1583

IMHO it makes no sense to talk about 'what if' magicians were not inclined to invent gaffed coins (or cards etc) as the notion of a feke (and related to fake, gaff, gimmick etc) just so basic to our craft, as are attention management, duplicates, confederates, optical effects ... sort of like the "simple machines" - all ancient discoveries. Smile
...to all the coins I've dropped here
KurtK
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OK!!! I get it people sheesh! My goodness you guys must eat nails for breakfast or something. Smile jk
The Amazing Noobini
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My own great philosophical reason for not using coin gaffs is that I cannot afford any. Not to match my silver coins anyway. If/when I become a little better at this and stop dropping coins all the time I wouldn't mind getting myself a delicate little shell.

Just watched a DVD with some Michael Gallo routines of such a nature. No laziness or lack of skills there at least. Smile
"Talk about melodrama... and being born in the wrong part of the world." (Raf Robert)
"You, my friend, have a lot to learn." (S. Youell)
"Nonsensical Raving of a lunatic mind..." (Larry)
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2008-03-23 16:36, KurtK wrote:
Why would you buy a gimmick for Scotch and Soda when you can learn quite a few sleights and gain talent while getting the same or near the same effect using no gimmicks?



The presumption that you can get the same effect - especially with the scotch and soda is in this case unfounded. When you don't use the gaff you lose part of the effect - the volunteer cleanly seeing both the copper and silver coins alone on their palm before they close their hand.

so... nope not quite the same effect. You can get pretty close but sometimes you really do need to resort to gaffs to "make the difference" that makes a difference to an audience.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
jfkkraemer
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A nice mix of both gaffed and un gaffed is to me the best way to go. To achieve certain more magical effects a combination is sometimes the best option.

When handling "normal" or ungaffed coins study your hands, the movements, then use your gaffs and do the same. Try to note any differences in your handlings for each and work harder on using the gaffs in the same fashion as your ungaffed coins. Ringing a gaff in and out should be no problem if your mechanics are good with ungaffed coins, you should be able to find a wonderful and magical balance for both.

Jeffrey Kraemer
lcombs
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Please allow me to reiterate a couple of earlier points, the spectator does not know the method (or else you need more practice) and how would real magic look? Whether you use an extra coin or a { for coins across, it is still a gimmick/gaff. But only one of them can be hidden in plain sight. Simple gaffs (shells and DB/DF cards) can create miracles when used correctly. Personally, I believe a mix of sleight of hand and gaffs produces the best looking result. Once you have established you have the skills, ringing in the gaffs can allow some incredible effects.

lcombs
Bob Magic
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Quote:
On 2008-03-28 23:50, Habu wrote:
Johnathan, I think we are in agreement about gaffs being around a long time, and their positive uses, as well as thier use by famous magicans throughout history.

But I am not sure what you meant by:

Quote:
so seems strange to consider a hypothetical about early magicians being too stupid to do what's necessary to get good tricks working.


I may just not be understanding what you wrote.


Hi Rick;
This has nothing to do with the subject. I noticed your handle Habu and wondered if you knew that coin man J.C. Wagner in San Diego was a SR-71 crew member?
Regards,
-Bob
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2008-04-23 14:37, lcombs wrote:...Once you have established you have the skills, ringing in the gaffs can allow some incredible effects.


Kindly keep your established skills a secret unless you want them to believe you are just hiding coins and tossing stuff around or up your sleeves when they are not looking.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Eric Falconer
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Quote:
On 2008-04-01 22:08, KurtK wrote:
OK!!! I get it people sheesh! My goodness you guys must eat nails for breakfast or something. Smile jk


That's not it Kurt. We eat non-gaffed coins for breakfast.

None of these comments are aimed at you.

This is a popular topic that coin magos like to sound off about. You'll find the same debate in the card sections as well.... Whether to use double facers or double backers or ID's or what have you versus complete sleight of hand no gaffus at all.

Some fall on one side of the argument: No gaffs... pure sleight for purity sake
Some fall on the other: Gaffs all the way.... for laziness sake.

Some understand: Both can be used and should be used.... for magic sake.
Eric Falconer

Houston TX
Wes65
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Quote:
On 2008-07-23 20:42, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Quote:
On 2008-04-23 14:37, lcombs wrote:...Once you have established you have the skills, ringing in the gaffs can allow some incredible effects.


Kindly keep your established skills a secret unless you want them to believe you are just hiding coins and tossing stuff around or up your sleeves when they are not looking.


That's the challenge....Ego wants people to believe we are performing difficult sleights, but good showmanship says it should look effortless and like real magic.

Is this why magicians love to perform for magicians? We feed our egos while entertaining.
Wes
DP the Great
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Doing non-gimmick coin routines are great fun, great great fun for the magician. But doing them with gimmicks, and performed right, are true miracles... -DP
D. P. the Great
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